BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - Two months after a Beaufort County teen disappeared, his family will lay him to rest.
Hundreds of family, classmates, teachers, and friends flooded Battery Creek High School to celebrate the life of 18-year-old Malik Spencer at a public memorial service Friday night.
“I just can’t believe these last two months since December 18, that he’s gone,” said Michelle Spencer-Rason, Malik’s mother. “He’s not coming back in the natural. He’s not coming back, and Malik did not deserve what happened to him.”
Malik’s mother says the last time she saw her only son was before she left for work.
Law enforcement confirmed Spencer’s body was found in Bamberg. The coroner says he died from gunshot wounds.
“Some folks can sugarcoat it. They can say whatever it is they say. He was murdered and he did not deserve it.”
Spencer was a senior at Whale Branch Early College High School. His cap and gown hung on stage next to his graduation portrait. With prayer and song, loved ones remembered Spencer for the kind and gentle soul he was.
“Everyone has given us the opportunity to get the world out to tell Malik’s story,” said Nicole Gellineau, Malik’s cousin. “Because his story ended so abruptly, we have to stand in his shoes now and tell his story.”
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office says they are still trying to figure out who killed Malik Spencer.
The family is not stopping until they get answers.
“Evil stole it from him. You all need to know that. You all that are here celebrating his life, just like you are celebrating, you need to call Crimestoppers.”
Deputies and other law enforcement officers were also there in support of the Spencer family, calling attention to gun violence in Beaufort County - saying 14 people died in 2018 from gun violence. Five of those victims were under the age of 20.
Malik’s longtime pastor, Theresa Roberts, says the process was really long while, waiting to know if Malik would return home safely.
“For his mom, you would never want to see someone you love have to hear about their son in any way like that," Pastor Roberts said.
She says she has been with his family since Spencer went missing, and even throughout planning his arrangements.
“I was thankful that I had an opportunity to sit with her when she got the news, but it was really hard and we rejoiced that we had his remains so that she could put closure to him being gone," Pastor Roberts said.
Roberts says she has never seen a family go through what Malik’s family is battling right now, but they appreciate all of the love and support.
“We want to make sure that Malik’s death has an explanation for his parents so that they can live. The day Malik went missing was the day that Michelle stopped living.”
The family says they are hurting and just want answers for the death of their son.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at noon at New Hope Christian Church on Parris Island Gateway. The burial will follow in the Forest Lawn Cemetery.